Business analyst

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Description 
The focus of a business analyst is to review and analyse an organisation’s business, including its business intentions, business services, business processes and information needs.  This analysis may help the business implement changes that lead to business improvements.

A business analyst is regarded as a conduit between the business units, organisational stakeholders and solutions delivery teams. A business analyst will liaise with key stakeholders in an organisation to develop a solid understanding of how the business is currently operating and the future goals of the business. Once the business analyst has gained this understanding, they will then review and analyse the business in terms of its business services, business processes, organisational structure and other relevant information to assist the business in identifying the best way to effect business change for achieving its business goals.

These business changes may include extensive stakeholder engagement activities to improve existing organisational structure, existing business services and service delivery mechanisms, existing business processes and in some cases the introduction of automation using ICT solution.

A Business Analyst exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)[1] and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.[2]

Within the SFIA profile, the benefits analyst has level 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.

Autonomy

Works under broad direction. Work is often self-initiated. Is fully responsible for meeting allocated technical and/or project/supervisory objectives. Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the assignment of tasks and/or responsibilities.

Influence

Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers on the contribution of own specialism. Builds appropriate and effective business relationships. Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned work, i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources appropriate to given assignments.

Complexity

Performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements.

Business Skills

Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make appropriate choices from alternatives. Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Assesses and evaluates risk. Communicates effectively, both formally and informally. Demonstrates leadership. Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Takes all requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Mentors colleagues. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry. Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder.

 

  SFIA Skill

SFIA Skill Code

SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility

SFIA Skills Level Descriptor

Business process improvement

BPRE

 

5

Analyses business processes; identifies alternative solutions, assesses feasibility, and recommends new approaches. Contributes to evaluating the factors which must be addressed in the change programme. Helps establish requirements for the implementation of changes in the business process.

Business analysis

BUAN

 

4

Investigates operational requirements, problems, and opportunities, seeking effective business solutions through improvements in automated and non-automated components of new or changed processes. Assists in the analysis of stakeholder objectives, and the underlying issues arising from investigations into business requirements and problems, and identifies options for consideration. Works iteratively with stakeholders, to identify potential benefits and available options for consideration, and in defining acceptance tests.

Data analysis

DTAN

4

Investigates corporate data requirements, and applies data analysis, data modelling and quality assurance techniques, to establish, modify or maintain data structures and their associated components (entity descriptions, relationship descriptions, attribute definitions). Provides advice and guidance to database designers and others using the data structures and associated components.

Relationship management

RLMT

5

Identifies the communications needs of each stakeholder group in conjunction with business owners and subject matter experts. Translates communications / stakeholder engagement strategies into specific tasks. Facilitates open communication and discussion between stakeholders, acting as a single point of contact by developing, maintaining and working to stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. (For example, may oversee the organisation's promotional/selling activities to one or more clients, to ensure that such activities are aligned with corporate marketing objectives). Negotiates with stakeholders at senior levels, ensuring that organisational policy and strategies are adhered to. Provides informed feedback to assess and promote understanding.

 

Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.

The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces.  The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types: 

  • Individual contributor (manages self)
  • Team leader (manages individuals)
  • Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
  • Executive (manages program managers)

When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills. 

Entry Points

Whilst a formal tertiary qualification is considered highly advantageous to work as a business analyst, it is not essential. Tertiary courses in information technology, information systems, business management, commerce or corporate systems support are relevant to a career as a business analyst. TAFE qualifications, such as a Diploma in IT or a Diploma of Business Studies may also support entry to a business analyst career. Experience working within an ICT business area is highly regarded.

Business analysts require very strong oral and written communication skills, strong skills in negotiation and customer management, sound analytical and conceptual skills, strong attention to detail, a logical approach to problem solving and an investigative and inquisitive mind.

Learning and development

There are a number of ways to develop and improve business analysis skills. Formal training and on the job experience are important ways to improve and develop the required skills. 

Extensive information on business process improvement is included on the Queensland Government Methodologies website for use by all Queensland Government agencies.

 

  1. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management.  This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation.  Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
  2. The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth.  The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning.

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/PSC_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf

The supporting Companion Guide can be found at

http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/Companion_guide_QPS_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf